Future guidance from the Commission on separate collection and sorting of waste will be a great help if Member States take steps to ensure that all single use glasses, cups, trays and other containers are collected and recycled, notably by local authorities and the producer responsibility organisations for packaging that have been set up in most EU countries, Pack2Go cites.
“The packaging we make is filled at the point of sale or just before serving and is designed first and foremost to guarantee food hygiene, protect public health and help ensure consumer safety in a world where people regularly eat and drink out-of-home or on-the-go,” says Mike Turner, President of Pack2Go Europe. “As these packs are fully recyclable, Pack2Go Europe wants access to recycling in place for our products by the end of 2025 all across Europe. We are going to play a leading role in achieving that end-game.”
Both the Commission and Pack2Go Europe are aligned with consumer thinking on this. The Commission’s citizen survey released with the EU Plastics Strategy shows that 90% of people think local authorities should provide more and better collection facilities for plastics waste.
“It’s clear that more investment in collection systems and recycling infrastructure are needed if we are to deliver a circular economy for food & beverage service packaging in Europe,” says Turner.
According to Pack2Go the Commission proposes to promote better product design for recycling. Pack2Go Europe is already committed to future material rationalisation in its products to facilitate easier recycling. The Association believes there may be scope for other types of innovation to develop products that are easy to collect and recycle.
According to Pack2Go the problem of marine litter must be addressed by cutting litter on the land as 80% of marine litter emanates from the land. We welcome the Commission’s re-iteration of the recent agreement by the EU institutions (in the context of the revision of the EU waste directive) that extended producer responsibility organisations for packaging in the member states will be required to finance action to curb littering, including but not limited to litter from plastics packaging. It is also time that Member States developed effective litter prevention strategies as part of their national waste strategies and the revised EU waste directive will require that too.
Pack2Go Europe applauds the proposal included in the strategy to clarify the issues associated with so-called “bioplastics”. “There is great confusion about compostable and bio-degradable plastics,” says Turner. “Even some national governments in the EU are unclear on this and taking the wrong policy decisions as a result.” This confusion risks encouraging more littering when consumers mistakenly believe that they can discard a product in the environment and that it will rapidly “disappear”.